The best travel rewards programs are the United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer programs as well as the Wyndham and Marriott hotel loyalty programs. If you don’t want to commit to a single travel provider, the best general travel rewards program is Capital One Venture Rewards.
United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles are the best travel rewards programs for frequent flyers because they offer a variety of perks ranging from free checked bags to airport lounge access. The exact benefits each program gives depends on the level of membership. Generally, though, all members will receive free checked bags and priority boarding on their respective airline’s flights. Higher-level members will also receive access to United and Delta lounges. The programs are free to join and the more you spend, the higher your level of membership. Plus, members can earn free flights faster by applying for a United credit card or a Delta credit card. Some very rewarding offers are available.
Wyndham Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy are the best travel rewards programs for frequent hotel guests because their members earn the most rewards value per dollar spent and have lots of properties to choose from. For example, Marriott Bonvoy now includes all Ritz-Carlton and SPG properties as well. If you decide to join either of these free loyalty programs, you might also want to consider applying for the Wyndham Credit Card, the Wyndham Credit Card with No Annual Fee or one of the Marriott credit cards. They all require at least good credit for approval.
Sticking with credit cards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great option for people who want to keep their travel options open. You can easily redeem Venture miles for pretty much any travel-related expenses using Capital One’s Purchase Eraser. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card and Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card are a couple of other cards with similarly flexible travel redemption policies.
In other words, there are plenty of different travel rewards programs to fit whichever method of travel you use most often.
Best Travel Rewards Programs:
- United MileagePlus – Best Frequent Flyer Program
- Wyndham Rewards – Best Hotel Loyalty Program
- Capital One Venture Rewards – Best General Travel Rewards Program
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express – Best Everyday Travel Rewards Program
- Delta SkyMiles – Honorable Mention
- Marriott Bonvoy – Honorable Mention
With the best frequent flyer programs, the stress of flying is lessened thanks to priority boarding, lounge access and free flights. With hotel rewards programs, you can easily earn free nights just for staying at your favorite hotels and resorts.
Travel isn’t always limited to just flights and hotel nights, though. Credit cards like the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card can also help you save on public transit purchases like taxis, subway rides, rental cars, and ride-sharing services. And if you travel a lot but not always with the same company or using the same mode of transportation, a credit card with general-purpose travel rewards is a good choice.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.